Alexander Skarsgård is on the cover of LIFE|STYLE magazine The Luxury Dossier (issue NUMMER 4/2012–1/2013). He is not only on the cover, but a seven-page spread inside that includes a Q&A interview and a bunch of photographs. The magazine is in Swedish, but thanks to Renata, we have the full translation. Tack så mycket Renata!
Index on page 22:
The vampire in the HBO series, True Blood, Alexander Skarsgård, who plays Eric Northman, gears up for more nudity in the coming season. He talks about the life as an actor and why he travels home, to Stockholm, every time he’s on leave.
PAGE 118: “It’s important to find characters I like and find interesting. I will not play the heartthrob in every movie for the rest of life.”
by Lily Rogers
ALEXANDER, THE GREAT
The vampire in the HBO series, True Blood, Alexander Skarsgård, who plays Eric Northman, gears up for more nudity in the coming season. He has just been featured in the blockbuster BATTLESHIP. With more movies to come, and again the Swedish sex symbol, he is the next thriving movie star that Hollywood will embrace. (Also Lady Gaga picked him for her video PAPARAZZI.) Alexander also acted in the critically acclaimed MELANCHOLIA last year.
Alexander Skarsgård is now living alone, after a few years in a relationship with Kate Bosworth. And he is happy to be single.
How interested in fashion are you? Or is it just something you have to pay attention because of your work?
– It’s not really part of my job.
You are seen on the red carpet at various events and people ask what you are wearing. Do you like it?
– I like it. Sometimes it can be fun to dress up. I like to put on my suit every now and then.
But you are a more casual guy in your normal life?
– Yes, that’s true.
As the oldest of seven siblings, how do you fit into the hierarchical stereotype? The oldest is often the most responsible and serious.
– I think I fit the stereotype. I’ve done it for a while, actually.
Gustaf, Stellan and Alexander Skarsgård
Given your father (Stellan Skarsgård) has had a successful movie career, do your family see your work as normal?
– There’s nothing normal about any of us. I think we are all very supportive to each other and they know I’m having fun right now. I get to work in so many interesting projects with interesting filmmakers and great actors. They see I’m happy and it makes them happy.
Are your friends back home in Sweden jealous, now that you are a big “movie star”?
– We have a saying in Sweden that says: “Don’t be too different, don’t be too good.” That means: “we wish you success, but not too much success. Don’t lose your head”.
Doesn’t it conflict with living in Los Angeles, where everything gets carried away and becomes as good as possible?
– I believe the combination is good. A little of both. In Sweden, it is what holds people back, because they feel they can’t really enjoy success or take any risks. If you work in a supermarket, but have an idea for a script or you want to be an artist or a writer, people say something like: “ Really?!?! But you work in a supermarket, C’mon! Get real!!!!”, while people in the States are more encouraging. They say: “That’s great!”
I imagine you had a great childhood.
– I come from southern Stockholm, from a working class neighborhood. My father is an established actor, but when I was a kid, he worked at the city theater in Stockholm, where they don’t make good money. It was not like he was a big star back then. So, I believe the culture in Sweden is different. I think it’s important to know where you come from and that’s not a sense of entitlement. I am aware of how lucky I am and think luck is where opportunity meets preparation. I’m not saying, “Oh man! I’m so blessed! I have worked so hard and I deserve it!” That said, I have friends who are actors and are incredibly talented, but still it’s hard for them to find work. It’s important to remember, I’m really lucky and I’m enjoying it, instead of believing that I am the best and deserve it.
In your position, is it easier to have a relationship with someone who is in a similar situation? Or is it easier with someone unknown?
– It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the person understands how it is, someone who can handle it. My mother isn’t an actress, she wasn’t in the business. Now they are divorced, but they were together for 35 years and she knew dad’s lifestyle, and his profession, and all his travels, and the fact that he was a celebrity. In a weird way, she also became a celebrity because of that, even if he was trying to protect the family and keeping them out of the spotlight. So yes, the answer to your question is that you need someone who actually understands.
Is there a specific type of woman you like?
-Yes. Women with sense of humor. There is a Swedish word for it – “självdistans”- self distance, that’s when you can laugh at yourself. You do not take yourself too seriously – a very, very important quality. It’s very important to me, someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Is it difficult to find it in LA?
-No. I know quite a few American women who have this quality.
How was it for you when you were growing up?
-I grew up in a very friendly neighborhood, in the concrete jungle, and in a very bohemian family. Most people in Sweden go skiing, or out in the nature, but dad would just cook and drink red wine, and his friend with their families would come over. We kids, were out quite a lot. I think I’m more active than my father and I like to be outdoors.
Do you like your status as a sex symbol?
-The important thing is I don’t believe it. You can’t focus on that. It’s important to find characters I like and find interesting. I won’t play the heartthrob in every movie for the rest of life. – Alexander laughs.
Has it been difficult to convince people that you can do more than be that hot guy? I mean, has it never worked against you?
-Well, it’s been tough, sometimes. I have worked hard to convince people that I am really an actor and there’s more than the appearance. When I read a script, I try to find an interesting character. A beautiful look isn’t interesting, I think.
It’s probably worse for a beautiful girl.
-It’s harder for a beautiful girl in the industry. It’s more difficult for a woman to find interesting parts if she is very good looking, then she will end up as a hot girlfriend, the hot wife in every movie. And those parts usually are not that interesting.
Does it surprise you that people often make much more big deal of nudity than violence?
-Not anymore. But I find it strange.
But how does it fell to see yourself in a sex scene in True Blood? Is it weird?
Stephen Moyer has said before a sex scene (you) don’t eat. Is it true?
-No. I can’t work without food. Then I crash. I have lunch.
However you must be aware of eating and exercising or not eating before some scenes.
-No, I have a pretty high metabolism, so I can eat a lot.
Stephen says he works out his butt. Do you?
-Stephen has a nice ass. – Alexander laughs
Yours is, actually, in the pictures as much as your face.
-It makes money. People get bored when they see my face.
So, where would you like to be in 5 years?
-I don’t know. I have no plan. What happens, happens. I’m just trying to enjoy as much as I can, and who knows, maybe I’m married for 5 years. I have no idea. I like to be surprised by life.
Did it bother you to be in a celebrity relationship?
-No, I’ve learned from my father – for him it was very important to keep private things to himself, to have the security of his home, with his family and best friends.
How would you describe this time of your life?
-It happened very fast. I was here for a few years and nothing happened. It still feels surreal. I can’t believe it’s happening. I’m enjoying it but, I can also laugh at it. It’s pretty crazy.
So, it was basically True Blood that changed it all?
-It was Generation Kill. It was my first big job.
Have you ever regretted you didn’t stay in the Navy, where your life would be much easier than it is now?
-No, it didn’t suit me. It was just something I wanted to try. I wanted a challenge.
What do you do in your spare time?
-Travel home. If I have a few days off, I fly home. Hopefully it keeps me on earth.
You don’t look like someone who enjoys nightclubs.
-I like to party, I go to restaurants and have parties at home here in LA. I don’t go to clubs that often, but at home, in Stockholm, I go out a lot. My life is better in Stockholm. I really recommend it. – says Alexander with a smile.
On the cover (photographer: Stan Godlewski)